The Purple Community Cabinet is a group of community leaders who are passionate about fighting cancer and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s. Cabinet members serve as ambassadors and advocates for Purple Community and Van Andel Institute (VAI) by helping create new events and partnerships, and volunteering throughout the year. Today, we’re thrilled to announce Erik Wolenberg is our new cabinet co-chair!
“Like millions of people around the globe, I really hate cancer; it has impacted many people that are close to me. I also watched as Alzheimer’s took its toll on my grandmother over the course of nearly a decade and look forward to the day when the research done at VAI leads to a cure for cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases,” said Erik. “Taking on this role with Purple Community is an honor for me, and I hope to play a small part in furthering the awareness and fundraising needs for VAI.”
Erik has been a Product Development Manager at SpartanNash since October 2017, overseeing private brand products like coffee, nuts, chips, cookies, candy and pet supplies. He joined the company in June 2015 in the newly created role of Culture Manager focusing on developing associate engagement programs and initiatives like the company volunteer program, specialized recognition communications, and culture-building collaborations.
Before joining SpartanNash, Erik was the marketing and public relations manager for LaughFest and Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids from 2012 to 2015. He holds bachelor’s degrees in general management and human resources from Michigan State University and an MBA from Central Michigan University.
Originally from the Lansing, Michigan area, Erik moved to southeast Grand Rapids in 2012 with his wife, Megan. They welcomed their first child, Lochlan Erik Wolenberg, in July 2016 and have a golden retriever, Peyton. With his occasional free time, Erik enjoys anything green and white, playing and officiating ice hockey, running, biking, reading and volunteering.
“I am a big believer in the work being done at Van Andel Institute, and love the way that Purple Community connects with people around the state to raise awareness and funds for VAI’s research,” said Erik.